Not going abroad, Karti Chidambaram tells top court

The Asian Age.

India, All India

The ASG wanted the court to allow the CBI to place additional documents pertaining to the probe conducted so far.

Karti Chidambaram

New Delhi: Karti Chidambaram, son of former finance minister P. Chidambaram, on Wednesday infor-med the Supreme Court that he was no interested to go abroad on October 19 to admit his daughter in Cambridge University in the UK.

Following this submission by senior counsel Kapil Sibal, a three-judge bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Kanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud decided to examine whether the CBI can be allowed to submit documents in a sealed cover for adjudicating legal validity of the lookout circular, to prevent Karti Chidambaram from going abroad.

Earlier, Mr Sibal submitted that his client was not interested in going abroad till a final decision was rendered on the validity of the lookout circular.

On Tuesday, the court had granted time to the Central Bureau of Investigation to file additional documents in relation to the FIR in a sealed cover for the perusal of the court to come to a conclusion that there was apprehension that Karti Chidambaram would tamper with evidence if he was allowed to travel abroad.

On Wednesday, even as additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta was ready to hand over the documents, Mr Sibal virtually prevented him from submitting documents to the court in a sealed cover. Quoting various earlier decisions, he objected to it and said the FIR relating to alleged irregularities in the grant of approval by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board has nothing to do opening of bank accounts abroad and it has not been mentioned anywhere in the FIR.

Mr Sibal asked the court as to why the petitioner’s right to travel abroad be curtailed while even an accused facing serious charges are allowed to go abroad. The bench is hearing the issue relating to the lookout circular issued against Karti to prevent him from going abroad.

The ASG wanted the court to allow the CBI to place additional documents pertaining to the probe conducted so far. The ASG asked the court not to take a decision on allowing Karti to go abroad without perusing the documents in the sealed cover. “What he did abroad is part of this sealed cover,” he said.

In a brief order the court said in the course of hearing the ASG wanted to rely on certain documents in a sealed cover and this was opposed by Mr. Sibal, who argued that the documents relied on by CBI could not be examined if the copies are not given to the petitioner. The Court will examine whether these documents could be looked at for the purposes of adjudicating the validity of the LoC. The Bench posted the matter for further hearing on November 1.

The CBI registered an FIR against Mr. Karti and others on May 15, 2017 for alleged irregularities in the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance granted to INX Media for receiving overseas funds in 2007 when Karti’s father was the Union finance minister. Mr. Karti challenged the LoC and got relief in the Madras High Court. The CBI filed the present appeal in the apex court.